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Digitalisation: TVs to become redundant in June?
29/01/2015 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
There won't be any TV blackout ... Supa Mandiwanzira

ZIMBABWEANS could in the next five months find themselves stuck with useless television sets in their homes if government continuously fails to implement the digitalisation of the airwaves from the current analogue system to the more advanced digital technology.

All countries were given up to this June 2015 by the global community to see to that they upgraded their systems to digital so as to continue receiving television signals.

Zimbabwe is expected to unroll the new technology through the country's information and ICT ministries.

But with five months to the deadline, the country is yet to adopt the invention, a situation former Information Communication Technology minister and sitting legislator for Kuwadzana East, Nelson Chamisa warned would result in a complete television blackout under the current system.

He was speaking during Parliament's Question and Answer session Wednesday.

"If we do not move in that direction, there would be a blanket blackout in the country, meaning our televisions would be redundant and our signals would be interfering with signals from other countries," he said in a question he directed to Supa Mandiwanzira, who is current ICTs Minister.

Chamisa was joined in grilling Mandiwanzira by fellow MDC MPs Settlement Chikwinya and Willius Madzimure.

But Mandiwanzira moved to allay any fears citizens may have about throwing away their TVs for new ones saying there are in-built components that will be compatible with the digital technology.

"What is happening today is that the televisions that are currently existing in Zimbabwe will continue to work after digitalisation, only that they will require what is called a set-top box which would be
able to convert the digital signal that will come from the transmitters so that the old analogue TV can be able to read the digital signal," said the Zanu PF lawmaker.

According to the minister, the set top box costs up to US$50.

Chamisa also demanded to know why the authorities have failed to educate citizens on the possibility of finding themselves having to buy technology that will ensure they continue to enjoy their gadgets.

Mandiwanzira was also berated by opposition MPs for failing to educate the citizens on the possible blackout in terms of television viewing.


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